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Politics Nation

News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the day's important political and human interest stories. New.

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Us 8, Campbell 5, Obama 5, Boehner 5, John Boehner 4, Advair 4, Washington 4, John Mccain 3, Newt Gingrich 3, Abbey 3, Barack Obama 3, Chicago 3, Lisa 2, Legalzoom 2, Bayer Aspirin 2, Vidal Sassoon 2, Karl Rove 2, Elizabeth Warren 2, Marge 2, Swanson 2,
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  MSNBC    Politics Nation    News/Business. The Rev. Al Sharpton discusses the  
   day's important political and human interest stories. New.  

    February 20, 2013
    3:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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let me finish tonight with this. there's nothing so powerful, someone said, as an idea who's time has come. that idea today is marriage equality. the numbers roll in as more and more american ts accept the idea as the younger seem to embrace it, wondering why it was an issue to begin with. so, tonight, we showed you a full-page newspaper ad with the pictures of general powell and laura bush and even dick cheneey. i look at the 14th amendment to the constitution and see a liberty clause and think about the declaration of independence itself and its hiss toric protection of the pursuit of happiness and wonder why we didn't all see it sooner. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, krisz, and thanks for tuning in. wouldn't you know it? a funny thing happened.
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the truth popped out. john boehner threatens the cuts to the u.s. national security, thousands of jobs and more. boehner is right. these cuts were design today be so brutal, so awful that even extremist republicans would want to avoid them. and, yet, the hill reports today that republicans have decided o the requester is where they'll make their stand on spending cuts. it's downright crazy. republicans admit the cuts will threaten national security and kill jobs. but they refuse to stop them? it makes zero sense. a new economic report warns these cuts could cause 700,000 workers to lose their jobs this year alone. the pentagon today passed a
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plan to furlough 8,000 workers if the cuts take effect. it's shameful. and the president is fighting that. today, he gave interviews to 8 different tv shows around the country, demand gd the gop stop these spending cuts, and, instead, close loopholes for the rich. >> instead of us cutting education, mental health programs and a whole range of other things that are really important, we should be focused on programs that we know don't work, waste in government and some of these tax holes that, frankly, only benefit the well-off and the well connected. now i only need congress to act and they've got 9 days to do it. >> the president is fighting to stop these cuts. but as we said last night, if they do happen, you'll know who to thank.
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if your child loses the head start program, thank the republicans. if you have to pay more for your milk because of the food inspectors, thank the republicans. and if you're one of the hundreds of thousands of people who lose their jobs, remember to thank the republicans. joining me now is joy reed and jared spsz berns terks in. did boehner think it through? >> i don't know, did he think it through when he said he got 98% of what he wanted? republicans are suffering the consequences of their own preferred policy. meaning 174 members of john boehner's house of
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representatives, almost fwies as many as the number of democrats said you know what? our preferred policy is, in order to force the democratic party, in order to force the president to cut spending, quote unquote, we're going to put in place this sequester which does these huge cuts to social problems. this is the policy they voted for. now that it's about to happen, they tried to blame barack obama. >> they voted for it, as you stated u almost 2-1 in terms of party lines for this. >> some of the right are starting to point out that boehner has stopped making sense. for example, byron york, of the conservative washington examiner, he wrote the effects of boehner's argue make it seem reasonable in come parson.
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the difference is that obama wants to avoid them. this is in the washington examiner. a conservative paper. >> yeah, exactly right. i read the speaker's op erksz d in the journal. it was quite a disz aster for him. the sequester is something that has to be avoided at all costs. and both you and i agree on that. and then the second half says here are all the reasons why we'll refuse to compromise with the president on it. you can't say this is a disaster for the nation u being an elected public official who presumably comes to washington not to generate disasters and self-inflicted wounds, but to actually solve problems that
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americans know have to close the steel. and i think this is going to play very badly for republicans because, again, in the public consciousness, it's recognized that one side is willing to compromise and one side is stone walling. >> u no, on the other hand, rand paul insists that the cuts aren't deep enough. listen to rand paul. >> i voted against is sequester because i didn't think it was enough. it's a slow down in the rate of dwrout. >> need i say more? >> only 26 members of senate voted gns the original budget control.
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rand paul is largely okay with cutting the military budget, which a lot of democrats are, too. but the bottom part is the most on the right. it's the part that wants to slash government spending, regardless of the consequences. >> again, his part of the party is still active and motivated. the part of the party that feels demoralized, is the boehner part. but jared, let's look at what the cuts are. look at the impact that it will do at this point, if, in fact, it goes through in nine days. it will affect poor and working people. 600,000 women and children lose nutrition aid. 125,000 lose housing head, 70,000 kiltz lose head start. 25,000 fewer cancer screenings.
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this hurts. and when you look at the fact that the president is saying let's close loopholes for things like private jets and yachts and things like that, that could avoid these cuts, they would rather do this to children and poor people and middle class people than to have guys close loopholes on their yachts and private jets. it's amazing. >> you have to understand that the part of the party that's making the moesz news and driving john boehner to places 4e doesn't want to go has two goems. one is to cut taxes from the wealthy and the other is to slash government. now, rand paul's numbers are completely famisched, as my grandmother would have said.
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on the other side, we've increased taxes. so there's already far more spending. the president is coming to the table saying let's make this deal a more balanced one in the interest of compromise and in the interest of not inflicting a wound on this economy and protecting all the economically vulnerable people you just mentioned and these guys are saying, no, more cults for the wealthy. >> so, again, it's once again way, way, way out 069 mainstr m mainstream. >> you had braught up about how this is something that they had voted for and i had said how they're trying to make it the president's sequester. the american people seem to be clear. americans in congress seem to have a 12% approval rating. americans seem to be clear on
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who's doing what for the american people. >> especially since the american party has made cutting spending their main mantra. once again, you're restating the republican goal. people would see this as what they always wanted to do. the idea of closing loopholes. this was just their standard for the presidency saying close loopholes. obama is saying let's do it, too. and it is very serious, the ramifications. ahead, the explosive town hall that reveals the ugly rhetoric of the republican base. >> most of the people that come across the border are illiterate, they don't speak english and they're a dependent class.
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illiterate? on welfare? this is ugly stuff and republicans have to deal with it. plus, a young barack obama and the shooting scare that changed his life as a community organizer. also, your first look at the new official portrait of the first lady with bangs. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. i gave birth to my daughter on may 18th,
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have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. today, folks were buzzing about the first lady's new official portrait.
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sue says what a lovely portrait. cheryl says i love her new haircut. it makes her look so young. vanessa says she's a beautiful, spirited woman inside and out. we've got more news on the first lady coming up later in the show. but, first, we want you to join the politics nation facebook page. please head over to facebook and search politics nation and like us to join the conversation. [ kitt ] you know what's impressive?
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the republican party has a big problem. it's called the republican voter. the hard right base is extreme and out of touch and is standing in the way of progress. senator john mccain saw it firsthand at a town hall yesterday. >> most of the people that come across the border are illiterate. they don't speak english and they're dependent class. >> they care for our babies. they're people who have been here illegally for 50 years. or 40 years. am i then telling them to be guest workers? >> why bring a 30 -- >> they're here. >> cut off their welfare and all of their stuff and they'll go backseat. >> illiterate. on welfare.
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so much for change. but there's no reasoning with them. >> you're a senator with the federal government and you're doing nothing about it. you said build a dang fence. where's the fence? >> that's not a fence. >> why didn't the army go down there and stop them? because the only thing that stops them, i'm afraid to say and it's too damn bad, is a gun. that's all that will stop'm. >> the only thing that stops them is a gun. even when republicans are trying to move forward, the base won't let them. how can the gop change when the loudest voices in the party are the most extreme. joining me now is abbey huntsman and margie omara. thank you both for joining me. >> thank you, reverend. >> abbey, how can republicans deal with those extreme voices? >> that was re
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. >> this is a mccain that people like. this is a mccain that shows compassion. he hasn't been like this in a while. but this is a mccain that got him the nomination back in 2008. >> the problem is the crowd. the stuff they were saying is ugh ugly, but, yet es identity tes loudest. >> yes, he has the microphone. he's one of the few republicans that has the microphone and chose to speak. it's not easy to speak in front of a crowd like that that does not agree with you. he's doing that. he's having the conversation. he's saying let's be compassionate. i think people look at that and say when i see immigration, it's something we can transition on. similar to gay marriage. >> what i think we've not seen
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enough, margie, republican leadership doing that. you didn't see it at all. if you did, it was very rare during the election last year. >> and you even have stuart rothenburg saying they're hurting themselves. many of them are so blinded by their anger toward president barack obama, that they're willing to nominate the most conservative kand dalt dat in a primary, no matter how limited his appeal in a general election. >> and some of the same language you saw in mitt romney's welfare ads from last year. so this language has come from folks on the right, has come from republican leaders and gets
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me tast sized and compared back to john mccain. while he had some real inclusive language there, you're also reminded of his ad from his last primary where he had to move to the right on immigration and now it's coming back to where he's been before. that's something where they're worried about a challenge on the right. so they're more concerned about a primary challenge from someone more extreme than they are. and you have a party that's now giving a lot of oxygen -- >> isn't that the problem? stay right there, margie. isn't that the problem, abbey, that they're afraid of a backlash? how do you move the party forward without having a backlash from these hard right wingers. >> he was running in a very tough primary. he was afraid he wasn't going to
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win. now we're seeing a mccain that's doing what he wants to do. that's the biggest challenge for primary. you have to get to the point where you can't worry so much about the extreme. the party is not going to win. otherwise, they're not going to be successful. >> now, when you also look at margie, newt gingrich. he attacked rove for being moderates. >> the idea of karl rove is creating some superpack to go out and basically pick republican senate nominees, for example. i think this is a very dangerous model.
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>> i can see why they want to have a structural fix of what, ultimately, is a message problem. >> you still have a broader message on the right that is alienating to a lot of folk ins the middle. alienating to young er voters. they can have karl rove in a fight with newt gingrich and still ultimately doesn't change the fact that the republican brand is one that's becoming exclusionary rather than inclusive. >> but abbey, when you wrote a scathing problem calling rove and his ideas terrible, repub p repugnant and simply wrong. >> this is a time when i absolutely agree with newt gingrich. he makes some really solid points in that comment that he
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wrote about the problems with politics. >> they don't everyone understand what messaging they need to be giving out to people. >> but there's another problem, marge, that is when you don't have a high view of the american public. let me show you the new fox contributor. he thinks the reason president obama won is because half the country is stupid. i'm not making this up. watch this. >> he is so popular because 51% of the voters were misled enough to vote for him. >> the american people were misled? i mean, how dumb are we?
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>> well, we are that dumb. we have a severe ignorance problem. >> republicans have gone from insulting 47% of the country to insulting 51% of the country. is that an improvement? >> you need to be able to love the volter if you're able to talk to them. you shouldn't be in politics. you shouldn't be in public service. you see that with mek cain -- i mean with cane and with mitt rom nooe and that little bit with john mccain. >> abbey and marge, thank you both for your time. >> thank you. >> ahead, they have a new one. they're somehow comparing senator ted cru sdrksz to senator elizabeth warren.
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>> amazing. >> and the community organizer, how a gunfight in chicago is shaping his agenda today. stay with us. my insurance rates are probably gonna double.
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nch . freshman texas senator is the new toast of the crazy republican party. in short time, he has both sides of the aisles criticizing his radical rhetoric. but our friends over at fox have a new theory. >> the big picture story here is that ted cruz is a latino. and everyone know that is the hispanic vote is very important, especially moving forward in this country. that could be the big picture reason why there has been this attack because he is a conservative republican and so far, a huge majority of the latino vote went to the democrats. >> oh, yeah, you got us. liberals attacking senator cruz because he's latino.
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>> it's definitely not because he said medicaid was unconstitutional. yep, immaterial's because he's latino. the criticism has nothing to do with suggesting chuck hage lrksz received money from foreign enemies or the violence against women act or voting against sandy relief or voting against confirming joan kerry as secretary of state. cruz's record prompted an opinion write up for "the new york times" to call him a nasty newcomer. but over at fox, they say another freshman senator is the extreme one. >> now they complimented her for being as aggressive as she was. >> where are the articles about her sharp elbows and not playing
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nice? >> let's get this right. they think elizabeth warren is more fair than ted cruz? this reminds me of something else someone at fox once said. >> we're not nuts, are we? >> i won't answer that one. but did you think we'd let you get away with this ri lidiculou defense of ted cruz? nice try, but we gotchya. here. since we're often all on the move, ashley suggested we use fedex office to hold packages for us. great job. [ applause ] thank you. and on a protocol note, i'd like to talk to tim hill about his tendency to use all caps in emails. [ shouting ] oh i'm sorry guys. ah sometimes the caps lock gets stuck on my keyboard. hey do you wanna get a drink later? [ male announcer ] hold packages at any fedex office location.
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while this hit so close to home. >> in the spring of 1986, a grassroots organizer named barack obama was walking through a trash-strewn playground when the sound of gunshots pierced the air. he's seen violence firsthand. like so many issues, gun control is personal for president obama. just like health care was, like education, like fighting for the middle class. it comes to being that community organizer in chicago's south side. these are the life lessons he's lived. so many on the right continue mocking the president for it. for those mocking, what have you seen firsthand? what have you done?
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joining me now is lisa lair, bloomburg news white house correspondent who wrote the article, president obama's time as a community organizer. >> thank you both for coming on the show. >> good to be here. >> thanks for having me. >> lisa, great story. tell us how president obama's community organizing experience has helped shape his presidency. >> well, this was a startling experience for the president. here he was, a middle class kid who went to a prep school in hawaii. he's hearing bullets whizzing by him. i think it definitely was an experience that level a mark on him.
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>> that's what he tried to do back in the '80s. >> you know, cynthia, when i was reading lisa's heart kaarticle only know about guns from hunting or hob bees and never had the firsthand experience of living in a community and working in a community where gun violence and the sounds of guns is totally different than hunting. it is actually living under siege and fear. president obama may be the only one at that level that has lived through that.
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>> absolutely right. his experience was not only that one moment in the park where he hit the ground, apparently, because he heard gunshots in the background, but also, i don't have any doubt that he met parents and young men and young women who had been affected by that gun violence. thank heaven that he had that experience. i think he was drawn to that work because he long had some sense of economic inequality.
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they lived abroad and that drew him to his interest in community organizing. trying to bring social and economic justice. >> through what he personally experienced. you talked about how he dealt with issues and saw violence firsthand. i'm reading from the article. it says a woman who worked with him is quoted as saying we were so protective of him. we were like don't go into this neighborhood. this is a bad corner. but but he would always go anyway. he rerequested two of the neighborhoods most overrun by warren gangs.
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>> i mean this kind of experience firsthand certainly shapes a different approach to when we're dealing with gun control from someone who understands it vastly different on the ground where there's an ever-present danger. >> i think that's right, but the president has faced a lot of criticism. a lot of his old friends and colleagues support the 39. president. but they say, look, we're happy you're doing this now, but where have you been. >> hoe signed a law allowing passengers to carry loaded guns in their bag on amtrak. they certainly would like him to see more. and they would like to see more attention paid to urban gun violence.
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really, the president only got in this fight after the horrible shooting in newtown. but it was a suburban tragedy. >> now, with hadiya pendleton, krrksz ynthia, is it that you feel that he was ignoring it or that 4e had to wait for a second term and have the wind at his back so he can weigh in on what is a very difficult, political battle. >> even now we don't know how much we're going to get done. >> i understand why people of chicago didn't think he was going to do anything earlier. i blame the entire democratic party.
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>> i don't expect republicans to act on this issue. >> they should have an economic justice caring for the little people most hurt by violence. they should have been on thissish u shoo. but they were scared away from it. they were intimidated by the gun lobby. by the nra and they didn't want to touch it. >> unfortunately, it took the deaths of small, white children in newtown, connecticut to finally get the nation's attention. and we only now have the possibility of doing something about it. and you're right, reverend al, even now, with all of these deaths, it still remains a difficult, contentious issue for congress to tackle. >> well, i believe we do. i wish everyone including the
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democratic party president and others had gotten there earlier. but i don't want to bicker now about what time everyone arri arrived. lisa and cynthia, thanks for your time tonight. coming up, when go medians attack politicians. get ready, d.c. big news tonight. and sarah palin has some company at the big, conservative political axz conference. and it's probably the last person you'd expect. think about that. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things.
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who emailed it to emily, who sent it to cindy, who wondered why her soup wasn't quite the same. the recipe's not the recipe... ohhh. [ female announcer ] ...without swanson. the broth cooks trust most when making soup. mmmm! [ female announcer ] the secret is swanson. nchtsz first lady michelle obama is making news this week. we told you earlier this week that mrs. obama joked her bangs are a midlife crisis. but they're here to say. here's her new white house portrait release today. but, this morning, she was talking about another portrait. >> i've got right here a family photo. this is actually sasha's lower school graduation. she has her flowers and malea
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looks much older than i'd like her to look. >> mrs. obama said she'll make three states to states to promote healthy living. >> get ready, jimmy fallon, more workouts are coming your way. >> coming up, another late-night comedian is going to washington. that's next. [ female announcer ] are you really getting salon quality... or settling for wannabes? stop compromising! new vidal sassoon pro series. care and styling from the original salon genius, created to let you have it all at an affordable price. new vidal sassoon lets you say no to compromise and yes to very shiny...
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it's as american as apple pie. comedians making fun of politicians. and there's a bigger stage. there is none other -- none bigger than this stage. and that's political humor at the white house correspondence dinner.
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today, we learned conan o'brien will be hosting this year's dinner. >> i believe in this president. i know there's some polls out there saying that this man has a 32% approval rating. but guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. sir, pay no attention to people who say the glass is half empty. >> mr. president, you've had your fair share of critics. so they even gave you your grief about the dog. why didn't you get a rescue dog? >> look, the man has to rescue a country that's been abused by its prooefsz owner. let him have a dog. >> he's had his share of stress. tough economy, two wars, health care fight, iran, north korea, his mother-in-law moving in with him. i think that will break most men. >> you might as well talk about
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the 2012 republican candidates. just look at the options republicans are pairing around. it doesn't sound like a field of candidate. it sounds like season 13 of "dancing with the stars." j you know, thal say that inside every american governor is a president struggling to get out. in chris christies's case, it's the only one where you can still hear him screaming. >> donald trump says that he would run for president as republican, which is surprising since i just assumed he was running as a joke. >> you told me when i was a kid that i would be sitting here on the same day as president barack obama, i would have said the president's name is barack obama? >> let's bring in chuck nice. chuck, would you comedians even have a job without politicians? >> oh, absolutely not. the thing is they make it so easy. that's the beauty of it. barack obama doesn't make it
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easy. this year, it will be a little bit easier because it's his second term. there's four years of precedent that you can go on. and i suspect a lot of drone jokes to be made by conan o brian. >> but, you know, he, himself, is pretty funny. look at this. >> in the next hundred days, my partisan out reach would be so successful that even john boehner would consider becoming a democrat. after all, we have a lot in common. he is a person of color. although not a color that appears in the natural world. >> as some of you heard, the state of hawaii released my official long form birth certificate. tonigh tonight, i'm prepared to go a step further. tonight, for the first time, i am releasing my official birth
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video. ♪ in the circle of life >> four years ago, i was looked in a brutal primary battle with hillary clinton. four years later, she won't stop drunk texting me from cartahena. >> in my first term, we passed health care reform. in my second term, i guess i'll pass it again. >> i mean, how effective is that fur the president to show that side? >> let me tell you something. i just sat here and watched that. barack obama, if he wanted to be a stand-up comic, he would be very successful. part of this whole thing is being able to accept what people
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already know and turn et it around. so it's -- much of comedy is a boom rang. and obviously, much of his presidency has been a boomerang. he has been the counter puncher, politically, and he does the same thing in comedy. seriously, to have that kind of ease and that kind of presence when you're following the comedian, the guy who does this for a living, and he walks up there just like, all right, guys, thanks so much for being here. clinton was good, too. let me show you some bill clinton. >> mr. clinton, i wasn't being political there, i was really going to show you. >> let me throw something at you. when poll tixs make a gaffe, you guys never let it go.
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you take it, drief it home and you become identified with it because you guys really cement the imablg. like last week, marco rubio's watergate. >> why was the water so far away? it would have been less awkward if he reached down the front of his pants to get it. >> a true professional knows, you know, you just cover your problem by always maintaining eye contact with the home viewer and connecting with the audience. >> it would have been less awkward had he been wearing one of these. >> you'll notice, you know.
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>> i mean, when you guys grab one gaffe and just drill it in, it stays in the mirn mind and we never let it go. >> well, you know why? it's because, you know, especially in the case like marco rubio, this guy made it so easy. it's one thing when something gets into the ground water and becomes part of the american pop culture. i's another thing when you main line it into our veins, you know. so he made it so easy sitting there. you're responding to the state of the union and you look like you're stealing a bottle of water. >> chuck knight, always great having you here. thanks. come again. >> thank you, sir. >> all right. >> a new addition to the cpac speaker's list. let's skrus say i hope the trees are the right height there. next. my mother made the best toffee in the world.
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